Here we are, one week into quarantine and one week into home schooling. In all honesty, I’ve quite enjoyed myself; of course it does help that my eldest 2 are in Reception and Year One, which means the work is pretty much all about getting creative and having fun. Well, I say pretty much all, there are exceptions like trying to teach phonics, which may as well be an alien language for someone like me who learnt to read and write in the ’80s. Maths too is a bit of a bore, but we’re getting there with a lot of smiles, laughter, demands for snacks and the odd tantrum along the way.
We’ve made a real effort with P.E as well. I’ve sat and watched while my husband and kids get involved in a morning workout session with Joe Wicks, a run and kick about on the field, ballet (youngest 2 only) and an obstacle course in the garden. It was during the obstacle course that I started to feel a real longing to get involved. We all know that I am very quick to forget about MS when there’s fun to be had and you probably all know where this is going…
As each member of my family did a timed circuit of the course I watched and thought, ‘that really doesn’t look very difficult’! They each slid effortlessly under the slide, jumped over the swing, bounced 5 times on the trampoline, rolled a hoola hoop, scored a goal and finished with a smooth slide down the, um, slide – all in around 30 seconds. Easy peasy!
Handing the timer to my son I approached the start line. “Let me show you how it’s really done!” I cockily chimed to my rather dubious audience.
On your marks, get set, GO!
I let my knees fall to the floor and gingerly lowered myself under the slide. Knocking the underside of the slide with my bum I realised that I would have to go lower still – that’s fine, my husband managed it and he’s bigger than me. I reached my hands out slowly and then sort of froze. I was stuck. My legs simply would not allow me to move either forward or back. Looking and feeling very much like a sloth, I stretched out my right hand, and then my left in a surreal but impressive real-time slo-mo – the kind of move a dance group like Diversity would be proud of. Having requested that the slide be raised a little higher I managed to crawl, still in slow-motion, out the other side.
I carefully stood up and immediately lost my balance so that I ended up stumbling my way across to the swing and then, again, with sloth-like moves, lifted my right leg over the swing followed by my left.
Next stop – The Trampoline (see previous post). Having got inside the safety net I bounced my 5 bounces, all the while listening to my husband scoff that my feet weren’t even leaving the mat. Resisting the urge to yell, “you try jumping up and down with feet weighing 10 tonnes!” I calmly made for the exit. I won’t bore you with the details of exiting the trampoline, we’ve been there before and it doesn’t end well.
Looking like a drunken snail, I threw the hoola hoop and made for the ball. I steadied myself and then, slowly, very slowly, booted the ball into the goal before climbing the short climb to the top of the slide and then inching my way painfully down the narrow chute, which was far too small for my womanly hips.
I won’t say how long it took me, let’s just say that I didn’t win.
It was my son’s turn next and I sat agog as he proceeded to run the course in mockingly slow moves, laughing his head off the whole way round with a wicked sense of humour that I’d not encountered before then.